By Susan Gordon
I have to admit that I had the best night’s sleep ever. The French poodle who lived next door has finally found a home!
Of course, I am as friendly as can be and always willing to have a chat, but that poodle never stopped talking. She was always going on about how she’d been abandoned in Hyde Park and picked up in a police van. How she suffered from flashbacks.
Of course, as the longest inhabitant, I have heard so many sad stories. I pride myself on being more of a counsellor, and some of the other old-timers still rely on me.
Let me return to my neighbour Cherie, the French poodle. She was highly strung, snappy and a bit unbalanced. I thought that it would be an uphill battle from the start. Cherie was off her food, had insomnia, and was downright rude to the kennel maids! But with patience and kindness, Cherie eventually turned out okay. The problem was that she snored and kept me awake! I hope that she is happy with the new family.
A few doors down is Max, who comes from Scotland. He’s a Cocker Spaniel and worked on a Scottish estate. He was a gun dog and retrieved all the birds that were shot down. The gunshots began to make Max lose his hearing. He also developed a nervous twitch and even a car door shutting, makes him jump. Of course, he talks in his sleep and suffers from nightmares!
He yearns for a quiet life without noises—possibly a convent or even a care home. Therapy sessions seem to have helped.
Actually, he has settled in quite well and doesn’t seem interested in finding a new family. When people pass by, he turns away and often growls to put them off selecting him.
You may be wondering why I am still here after all this time.
My breed is fairly rare and has indeed been exhibited at Crufts on more than one occasion.
I am delighted to tell you that I am a Bearded Collie. I need a lot of brushing and grooming and that fact may be why I haven’t been chosen.
The people who visit the home seem to want small dogs that don’t need as much work or exercise. The people seem to like those silly features like dogs standing on their hind legs to gain a sweetie. Those little dogs will do anything to find a home. They wag their tails and jump about to show how much fun they are. How common!
In the beginning, I thought that my beard might make me look too old. Shaving was not an option.
I thought that I didn’t look fit enough. I thought that I should diet and by now I am a vegetarian. This might improve my agility.
I managed to convince a kindly kennel maid to put a mirror up
And have barbells under my basket to practise in the evenings after lights out.
I also have a change of bows and neckties to appeal to the more modern families. I even have a tartan one to appeal to the Scots who could be looking for a dog.
I am originally from Wales and lived on a lovely farm. I was a working dog too. Not for me all that slouching around on haystacks like other dogs do. No. I rounded those sheep up in record speed time and still had time for a bath before supper.
My story is sad, though. The old couple who owned the farm were forced to sell the sheep. A spot of Foot and Mouth I believe and I was sent to this Dogs home.
I would like to go back to living in the country with a family without children. I am not too good with kids. They want to train you to fetch bones and balls and fetch sticks from rivers, and that’s not for me.
At my age, I would like a bit of peace. I am a good walker and by nature am loyal and protective and can even round people up if they get lost.
Not many families stay looking at me for long. I don’t know why.
Just when I thought that all my exercise and diet plans had come to nothing, my luck changed for the best.
You can always tell when the families arrive to select a dog.
The doorbell rings and the visitors have to fill in a form.
This gives me time to get ready. I look in the mirror to make sure that I’m not having a bad hair day and chose a bow tie to finish off. I decide what is my best side and practise my slow walking technique and brush my beard. I tidy up my room and hide my Hello Dog magazines.
Then, on this particular day, I heard the footsteps. Slow and methodical steps. Expensive shoes. Real leather and brushed and polished. Such taste, I thought, and then I saw them. So smart and civilised.
An elderly man and his wife. They leaned down to see more of me. Honestly, I could feel that my heart was turning over.
Our eyes met, and the next thing I knew, they opened my door.
The lady lifted me into her arms and gave me a hug. The man was happy too and kept tickling my tummy when I lay on my back. I love having my tummy tickled, and it makes me giggle.
While they filled in the paperwork, I said goodbye to the others. They were sad to see me go, of course, but I never look back.
The country pile that they took me to was wonderful. Set in acres of gardens and fields with a few sheep to round up too.
I was simply in my element. Who could guess that I had landed on my feet?
Of course, I often think of the Dogs’ Home. I send postcards so that they know how I am. I have one or two keepsakes, of course. There is a photo of the home, and a couple of friends and an old dog lead and a chewed dog basket. I get quite emotional now and then, tossing the memories back and forth.
But at last, I have found a real home!- Total nr. of readings: 256 Copyright © The author  All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.
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